Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blinded Me With Science

I'm going to read this lecture about what Stephen Hawkin has to say about life on other planets. I saw some blurb on yahoo earlier this evening, where he says that primitive life may exist on other planets around our galaxy, but that there doesn't seem to be any signs of intelligent life. Throughout the universe, in fact, "intelligent life as we know it is exceedingly rare."

Ummmmm, duh! Intelligent life on earth is extremely rare.
Ba-dum-dum. (Cymbal crash.)

So I'm going to read the above mentioned lecture, but I can't do it tonight because I've worn out me eyeballs reading for the last few hours already. I'm trying to get through the first part of "The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence" by Deepak Chopra. One reviewer on Amazon called this book "spirituality for the scientific mind," which is cool, except I've always had a problem with science. I love learning new things, but for some reason my brain doesn't grasp science-talk. Deepak's all about particle waves and wave packets and subatomic atoms and I'm thinking "huh?" He wrote something like "we all learned in high school that blah blah blah," and I think, "did I?" Did I learn that? Because if I did, I certainly didn't retain it.

Once, in the week that I took computer programing before I dropped it, we had to create a program to calculate pi (π) and everyone around me seemed to have no problem with what the professor was talking about. When he finally stopped speaking (using the same lexicon and tone as Charlie Brown's teacher always used) I raised my hand. When he came over I asked him "what's pi?" He looked kind of surprised and started to explain, and I stopped him. "No,...uh, like - what's the number of pi?" I know I had once known the difference between pi and, uh, pie - but that knowledge had seeped out of my brain quite a long while before.

It's understandable, though. I had to purge a lot of information I learned in my earlier years to make room for the latest Lilo Lohan news.

I watched "Contact" last weekend again. I find that movie to be genuinely comforting. The alien in the film, (who appears to Jodie Foster's character as her father) says of us humans, "You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other."

I hear that.

Talking about knowledge seeping out of my brain (most likely out my ear) made me think of when Khan put that insect animal thing into Spock's brain through his ear. How scary was that?!? I had nightmares for weeks after. And now I'm thinking about the alien in Sigourney Weaver. Maybe that's where the intelligent life forms are. Inside us, each cell represents and universe teeming with nano-aliens.

We sneeze, and galaxies are ripped apart.

Pee and poo.

I've got some gnarly painful sore on the side of my tongue right now that makes is hard to eat and even harder to talk. In fact, it makes me drool, and today in the classroom I goobered on my shirt.

It felt appropriate.


Michael said...

I love Contact, it's one of the few movies that I've watched more than once and one of the FEW books I've read more than once.

The book is a wee bit "preachy" but I think it is even better than the movie.

Jelly said...

I've never read the book - I didn't even know there was one! Cool! I think that's going on my "to order" list. I just love the movie. I've seen it about ten times! I can't wait to hear how you enjoyed your shows!

sher said...

Of course that knowledge had seeped out of your brain! I don't store stuff like that. I'm too busy storing the recipe for the perfect party cake, in case I'm ever stranded without my recipe book and need to make a killer cake. What good will it do me to remember pi????

Loved Contact too.